Help -- We have a Neighborhood Menace

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BonnyMA, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. BonnyMA

    BonnyMA New Egg

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    In the last two weeks I have lost 5 grown oversized chickens and 3 mallards and my neighbor has lost 11 grown chickens. I had 5 chickens that were in a 10 X 10 X 8 foot dog pen with a blue tarp on top. 2 Fridays ago I lost 1 chicken, no trace except a bunch of feathers where something apparently drug it out the space between door and hinges. It went about 4 days and in 2 days I lost four more hardly any feathers, just gone. We went about a week and then two days ago my three mallards which were in a pretty sturdy cage, all enclosed, wired roof cage were slaughtered inside. One head was completely severed and everything gone. Even the yellow of the beak and the eyes were gone like it had been weathered. A second bird had its head hanging on by a string and the neck was stretched. Both these birds had their intensines ripped out, but not necessarily eaten. Maybe a small bit of hind quarter of one bird was eaten some, not sure. The third bird had its neck stretched and bloodied. Did not see any footprints.

    Today my neighbor came over and said she has lost 11 as well in last two weeks. Some have disappreaed and some have been decapitated. One was up on rafters of her pen. We live in woods and there is a stream at the bottom of a very large (almost small mountain, bigger than a hill) We are four houses apart.

    My ducks were found at dead at 4 in afternoon and were not yet stiff and the insides hanging out weren't dried. They two were kind of stacked together or very close to each other. 3rd was found in the water basin used for swimming inside their pen. Not covered in flies as best as I can remember. But I do remember while cleaning up the flies swarmed the head. So I hate to be graphic, but we really want to solve this problem before we lose any more.


    Could it be rats or opposums or coons or --- help? Lot of food for something in past two weeks!
     
  2. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    From what you are describing...it sounds like it could be both raccoons and a fox. The raccoons are the ones eating the heads and evicerating the carcass. The fox would be the one taking the chickens with no trace of what happened, or leaving just feathers.

    [​IMG]

    If you don't have a cage trap...then you'll want to get at least one if not two. Get a good quality trap, and you won't have issues down the road, should you catch a big boar coon.

    Havahart was a good product 20+ years ago...but you'll want to get a solid product. Duke Traps makes a great trap that is really close to what I've posted above...go with the heavy duty model, 30" X 12" X 12".

    Bed the trap so that it is firm and does not wobble. If you Have questions, we're all here to help you, just ask...

    Let us know what you catch.

    I'm going to say young fox and a family of raccoons.

    Any other guesses?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mobile, AL
    Did I read correctly that all these birds were in enclosed pens?
    Was the first death the only one with evidence of something forcing its way into the pen?
    Or did all the other predation events have evidence of something forcing its way into the pen?

    Sounds like raccoons to me. Despite the fact they are mainly nocturnal, once they find an easy food source, they will be active all times of day.

    Bottom line, is you need to do something or you will lose your entire flock.
    Did you set a trap yet?
    Have you reinforced your pens, added wire tops?
     
  4. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great advice...reinforce the coop. That is your primary defense. Lock the girls up at night...every night.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  5. BonnyMA

    BonnyMA New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2014
    Yes, they were all in enclosures 24 hours a day. All have wired or covered tops! Thanks for the encouragement. We've had trail cams out for about a week. It goes off around 3:00 but we can't find anything on pictures.
     
  6. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    Wow...nothing showing up on the trailcam...could it be that the animal is on the other side of the run and triggering the camera from a distance through the screen?

    It's just strange that the camera is triggering but nothing is showing up.

    Could you post a few of the trailcam images? I'd like to see them...
     
  7. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How low is the camera mounted? Might be shooting over the coons. Needs to be down close to their level.

    Get some traps set!!!
     
  8. BonnyMA

    BonnyMA New Egg

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    Jun 29, 2014
    Okay. The mystery is solved. We saw a fox but he has made himself scarce. We did catch 2 raccoons in live traps, one male and one female, both pretty fat and happy.
     
  9. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2016
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    Probably want to keep those traps set for a while. I removed 8 raccoons in a short period of time. I've had no activity at the traps for 2 weeks now, but was getting 1 a night for a stretch.
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Multiple headless kills stacked together sounds the work of a mink or weasel, which might explain a lot of things, including why you don't see anything on your game cameras.

    But you have seen a fox and have caught coons? You may have all of them after your birds.
     

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